1932

Abstract

Hydrogen sulfide (HS) is a respiratory toxicant that creates extreme environments tolerated by few organisms. HS is also produced endogenously by metazoans and plays a role in cell signaling. The mechanisms of HS toxicity and its physiological functions serve as a basis to discuss the multifarious strategies that allow animals to survive in HS-rich environments. Despite their toxicity, HS-rich environments also provide ecological opportunities, and complex selective regimes of covarying abiotic and biotic factors drive trait evolution in organisms inhabiting HS-rich environments. Furthermore, adaptation to HS-rich environments can drive speciation, giving rise to biodiversity hot spots with high levels of endemism in deep-sea hydrothermal vents, cold seeps, and freshwater sulfide springs. The diversity of HS-rich environments and their inhabitants provides ideal systems for comparative studies of the effects of a clear-cut source of selection across vast geographic and phylogenetic scales, ultimately informing our understanding of how environmental stressors affect ecological and evolutionary processes.

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2016-11-01
2024-06-24
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